Contact: Dave Steuber
July 3, 2012
NORWALK—State Sens. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) and Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) visited the American Legion Post 12 ahead of Independence Day Tuesday to thank veterans for their service and to highlight new legislation to benefit military men and women who fought for their country.
This year, Sens. Duff and Leone championed and won passage of important bills that will help to improve the lives of veterans who live in the state of Connecticut. The legislation ranges from a jobs program that provides financial incentives for hiring returning combat veterans to a bill that makes it a crime to desecrate a memorial honoring veterans.
Joining Sens. Duff and Leone at the event were House Minority Leader Larry Cafero (R-Norwalk) and Mayor Richard Moccia as well as American Legion Post 12 Commander Buddy Scudder, Norwalk Veterans Memorial Committee Chairman Dan Caporale, Phillip Kraft, president of the National Veterans Service Fund, headquartered in Darien, and other veterans.
“This Independence Day, as we reflect on our freedom, it is important to honor and thank those who put their lives on the line to serve their country,” said Sen. Duff. “Every year, we in the Senate take up legislation that shows our gratitude to veterans by helping improve their lives, sometimes in small ways, sometimes in big ways. I am particularly proud of this year’s achievement—a program to help returning combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan find jobs.”
“Just as our veterans did their duty to protect our country, it is now our responsibility to care for our veterans. The STEP UP job training program will be a great help to the many soldiers now returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq. Since readjusting to civilian life is not always easy, we also passed a bill this year to grant non-violent veteran offenders a second chance in the judicial system. As we celebrate our freedoms on the Fourth of July, we must remember and honor the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform,” said Sen. Leone, who serves as Senate chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“When it comes to veterans issues, you won’t see any partisan politics come into play in Hartford. We worked together to pass legislation that will benefit the brave men and women who served their country,” Rep. Cafero said. “I’m very appreciative of the bipartisan nature of our delegation who have worked together to assist our veterans,” Mayor Moccia said. “Now from the city’s end, we must work to get the word out to residents about these veterans programs. We will make information about this legislation available on the city’s website.”
“As a Vietnam era veteran, I understand the problems so many combat veterans faced when they come home—especially the way they were treated. There was no job training program back then, but now there is, and it will be a great step for getting our new veterans acclimated to civilian life. Many veterans have an education, but there are still few jobs out there for them. New training will help. As a veteran, I am privileged to live in a state and a town that understands the value of supporting our troops, and honoring our veterans,” said Buddy Scudder, Commander of American Legion Post 12.
Recently passed legislation and newly enacted laws include:
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